Every single time I pass a neighborhood with a name like "Lakes of Something or Another Village", "Spring-Fed Ocean Creek Sand Dunes Forest Pines" or "Estates of King's That Enjoy Good Wine", I look around and become really suspicious. Where is that king, huh?? And the wine? How about the lakes? Are those REAL lakes?? Don't even get me started about street names. I think the reason I am so critical of neighborhood and street names is because I am jealous.
I want to be a street namer.
I want to name your neighborhoods.
Neighborhoods, much like apartment complexes, must entice future dwellers with their name. The name must evoke feelings of calm, peace, nature and relaxation, right? Even if the name grossly mismatches what you will find behind the welcoming sign, people are drawn to the area. If your neighborhood is "Mountain Breeze Cove" and there is not a mountain in sight, you will at least FEEL like there is a mountain every time you say your neighborhood's name. That is what is most important. Your feelings. If you are still not sure what I mean, please take a look at the pictures I shot this weekend of some apartment complexes I came across:
Roundhill, huh? Well, I will see about that! Here in the Houston area the land is mostly flat everywhere you look, but if you say there is a hill, and a round one at that, I will try to find it.
Pretty sure "Small Mound of Dirt With Some Grass Townhomes" wouldn't bring the people in droves.
Let's move on.
Doesn't this make you feel like you are right by the ocean? The water is blue beneath your feet. See it? You can count on there being lots of palms right around the sign, if a complex is named this way. So, my investigation involved trying to locate other palms on the property.
Here's what I found:
Lastly, I present to you this very nice stone entrance that is certainly featured in all of the apartment guides in the Houston area.
"Honey! Let's go check out THIS place! I bet they have a beautiful park and stone EVERYWHERE!! I am so excited to check it out. Here we go, here we go...we're almost there..."
"Honey? Where's the stone?"
The streets and neighborhoods I would name would be very honest. In my neighborhood, I would call them all "Street One", "Street Two" and so on until the streets were populated. After everyone moved in on Street One, for example, I would then either poll the house or just stake them all out to see what information I could gather.
Uh-huh. Alright. The inhabitants of 300 Street One are a nice little family with two young kids. Next door at 302 is a seedy-looking man with two dogs. Down the street at 311 is an older woman with 15 cats. I would scribble all of these observations down in my Trapper Keeper and then start daydreaming about the most appropriate name for that street. Given that one name coudn't certainly not fit all, I would probably settle for changing Street One to "Furball Way" or "Cat Court" or "Seedy Street". My ideas are endless on this one, so let's just switch to neighborhood names now.Yes, in my neighborhoods and streets, people, you will know what you are in for as soon as you see the sign. There will be no trickery involved. Here are a list of some of my up and coming developments:
POWER PLANT PINES
(This will be a large development in the chemical plant area of town.)
COOKIE CUTTER COURT
(This will be absolutely EVERYWHERE, so I will likely name it I, II, III, etc.)
THE MEDIOCRE MANSIONS
(There are mansions and then there are MANSIONS, youknowwhati'msayin? This one just distinguishes one from the other...)
RETENTION POND LAKES
(I am going to petition to get just about every neighborhood with the name "lakes" in it to change to this name so that people moving from far away know what kind of lakes we're talking about here.)
(So many neighborhoods brag about their "green belt" when mostly it is just a sidewalk between tall fences. I am just keeping it real.)
(Don't move here! This is not safe for your children!)
I think I will probably have a slow start with my neighborhoods, so I will probably keep writing this blog in the meantime. I know you hate to hear that.